Iran, Algeria call for closer ties among Islamic states

August 12, 2008

TEHRAN – Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Monday held talks with visiting Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on ways to expand relations among Islamic states.

“Cooperation among Islamic nations for resolving regional and international problems will deepen relations among regional countries,” Ahmadinejad stated.
The president said Iran and Algeria have a common stance on most regional and international issues. The Islamic Republic is prepared to improve its relations with the African state, he added.
Tehran and Algiers play a key role in the Islamic world and should develop closer cooperation to help defuse crises in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Somalia, he noted.
He accused the “United Nations and other international organizations” of serving the interests of major powers instead of taking measures required to end violence throughout the world.
Ahmadinejad expressed appreciation for Algeria’s support for Iran’s efforts to access peaceful nuclear technology and stressed that negotiation is the only way out of the West’s nuclear standoff with the Islamic Republic.
He hailed the attendance of U.S. top diplomat in the latest nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union. “During these negotiations they deeply understood that Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities will never stop.”
On July 19, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili held talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear dispute.
U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns also participated in the negotiations. It was the highest level of diplomatic contact between Iran and the United States in 30 years.
Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany last month offered Iran an updated package of incentives in return for a halt to Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.
The package, which is a follow-up of an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear cooperation and wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology, and agriculture.
However, Iran has repeatedly ruled out suspending uranium enrichment as a precondition for talks with the major powers, insisting that, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to utilize civilian nuclear technology.
Turning to the security crisis in Iraq, the president said the occupying troops should pull out of Iraq as soon as possible and allow the Iraqi government to take control of the country’s issues.
Bouteflika, for his part, said Algeria is determined to bolster relations with the Islamic Republic.
“The Islamic states should make every effort to resolve regional and global problems and establish peace and stability in the Islamic world.”